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Andrew Reid

Samsung eying return to camera market as Galaxy smartphone shipments fall

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With the number of Galaxy handset shipments stalling since 2013, Samsung has been looking to raise prices on their high-end handsets to offset the plateau. The company has suffered dramatic losses of market share in China to cheaper rivals as a result. Now there are rumours Samsung is looking 'beyond the galaxy'...

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I think it is a heroic leap of logic to conflate 'Samsung may well be producing a FF BSI CMOS sensor' to the likelihood they well re-enter the digital ILC market. Producing high end CMOS sensor for dedicated ILC cameras makes a lot of sense, becoming a digital ILC camera manufacturer (again!)  doesnt.

According to Thom Hogan there are precisely three manufacturers of large CMOS image sensors for dedicated digital cameras - Sony, Canon and Tower Jazz.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-2017-news/july-2017-nikon-news/confirmation-bias-and-image.html

Once you rule out Canon (in-house, pretty ancient tech) and (at the moment) Towerjazz (busy upgrading Panasonic plants) you are left with Sony. Forget Renasys (acquired by Sony) or Toshiba (acquired by Sony) or Aptina (acquired by ON Semi) or Panasonic (acquired by Tower Jazz). Making large CMOS image sensors isnt easy - from what I remember you get something like 20 FF sensors, 100 M43 sensors or 1000 smartphone sensors on a 300mm wafer - which makes yields tricky the larger you go.

I very much doubt that any camera manufacturer is enamored about buying their sensors from 'Sony' who is pretty much the most aggressive competitor in 'their' space. (Nikon appears to be looking towards Towerjazz but that is a year or two away.) Panasonic/Olympus seems to be working on Sony crumbs (is it really their choice to not have ospdaf?). So for a major very high tech player like Samsung to come in and offer large sized CMOS image sensors makes a lot of sense for Samsung and would likely be welcomed with open arms by pretty much every dedicated camera manufacturer (apart from Sony).

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Looking beyond the Galaxy seems sensible. It’s increasingly difficult to see where phones can go. Better image quality will obviously arrive - incrementally - with each generation but it is unlikely that any one manufacturer will stride ahead (except RED obviously - particularly if JJ is reading this!)

If (IF) Hydrogen and h4v makes a significant impact then, presumably, Samsung, Apple, Sony et al will rapidly jump on board and produce similar technology?  That’ll be a potentially fun game for a while.

Can’t help thinking that the glory days of flagship expensive phones might be over - cheap, functional and efficient might be the new aspirational mass market.

Has anyone produced a decent camera in a smartwatch/wearable?

 

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19 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Wow - Samsung’s fortunes in China really went south - from 20% to less than 2% in just five years.

I think all the company's outside of China have had a big drop that import to them heavily. It appears that China is trying to push for, if it Ain't made here, or it Ain't a Chinese company you Ain't selling it here thingy.

I can see their viewpoint. Why make all this stuff and not be able to reap the big profits from it. But it is dangerous down the road to have such a closed society, but China has been there done that so no biggy on their part, at least in their minds as of now.

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The boycott of Korean products didn’t help matters much, that’s for sure.

At the same time, the single most eye-opening experience for me when I moved to South Korea in 2007 was that there was hardly anything that wasn’t made there - from cars, washing machines, phones, air conditioners, televisions - virtually nothing from overseas. 

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2 hours ago, jonpais said:

Wow - Samsung’s fortunes in China really went south - from 20% to less than 2% in just five years.

Yeah, I am not surprised with $1000 price tags.

2 hours ago, Robert Collins said:

According to Thom Hogan there are precisely three manufacturers of large CMOS image sensors for dedicated digital cameras - Sony, Canon and Tower Jazz.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-2017-news/july-2017-nikon-news/confirmation-bias-and-image.html

There are far more than three. Toshiba, although now under Sony's ownership.

TSMC, the third biggest contract chip maker in the world.

http://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/cmos.htm

Panasonic have large sensor CMOS fabs.

And furthermore, once you look beyond to the fabless chip designers, you have many many other sources who can design custom CMOS sensors, like the one in the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K.

2 hours ago, Robert Collins said:

So for a major very high tech player like Samsung to come in and offer large sized CMOS image sensors makes a lot of sense for Samsung and would likely be welcomed with open arms by pretty much every dedicated camera manufacturer (apart from Sony).

Samsung actually have a close relationship with Sony on image sensors and have put Sony CMOS sensors in their smartphones alongside their own.

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This one is worth an eye roll.

Another clickbait headline with a leap of logic that makes no sense, and runs contrary to everything Samsung has done since whacking the NX line. The smartphone market as a whole has plateaued in the last couple years due to a number of factors including market saturation, no growth in China, people holding phones longer, little innovation year-to-year, more competition from smaller companies like Huawei and so on. Last year was the first with no year-over-year growth, this year is forecasted to be flat as well. Are they really going to tie up sensor production for a small piece of a shrinking pie or are they going where there's growth - like automotive, security and industrial? All of their reports say they're focused on growth areas and mobile. Samsung still sold 310 million phones last year while making a tidy profit and half the worlds population lives in places with much lower market penetration like India, Africa and Latin America - compared to areas of high saturation like the US, China, Europe and the rest of Asia. 5g may spark another boom, but it won't be widely available until 2020.

25% of the total camera market is only about 3 million units at 2017 sales levels - and 5 years from now that will be much lower as compacts (half of least years dismal numbers) continue to evaporate. It would take them years to gain any meaningful market share. Even if they released a new APS-c sensor today, it would be a couple years before they could even get into a single camera. They're smartly hedging their bets by boosting sensor production capacity with the stated goal of toppling Sony as the #1 manufacturer, but its not for large sensor cameras.

http://english.etnews.com/20180315200002

#fakenews

Chris

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3 hours ago, jonpais said:

And such horrible corruption that allowed Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee out of prison after being sentenced for bribery. 

And to give some more context to your comments, the iPhone wasnt even allowed to be sold in South Korea before Samsung had their Galaxy S ready because of some bs excuse. That's why the iPhone 4 was the first iPhone for sale in SK. No wonder everything sold in Korea is made in Korea.

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Interesting but there is two issues:
- Reputation: personally I'm not sure I would invest in Samsung after what they did with the NX1. They seem very unstable.
- Crowded market: Samsung would make a come back just when Nikon and Canon get serious about mirrorless? There will be more competition in a stagnant market. Based on the previous point, would they have the patience and dedication to develop an expensive line of lenses? Perhaps it would make sense with Fuji.

Anyway, more competition is always good.
 

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Samsung has been consistent No1 selling smartphone globally, for a while now. A Lot of Global High-end Flagships have seen their sales dip, including Huawei, iPhones, Samsung, LG, HTC etc. So it is not Samsung alone. 

It is mostly due to the emergence of very well packed Midrange phones with good cameras (One Plus, Xiaomi etc). The issue with Samsung's dipping sales is a mix of politics and economics. 

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Cell phone sales were sustained by the rapid developing pace of the tech that went into them. Once phones become good enough for most people's needs there is less incentive to replace them and the usage cycle becomes longer. The same sort of thing happened in the PC industry. It used to be that you had to replace hardware every few years to catch up with software demands, but at a certain point software stopped benefiting significantly (from the average users point of view) from hardware advances, so there was less of a need to replace PCs as frequently. That resulted in the much hyped "death" of PCs. But actually, people still used PC's, they just were not replacing them as often, resulting in no growth and some decline in sales. Marketing idiots interpreted that as "people don't want PCs anymore", which was not true at all. Sales growth flattened, but people are still using PCs just as much as before, perhaps even more so. They are just not replacing them every few years like they once did.

The same thing is happening to cell phones now. And we will see the same "death of cell phones" nonsense from business types who only look at sales growth rather than sales themselves.

Basically it has happened to the ILC market as well, hence all the doom and gloom you often see when sales figures come out.

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31 minutes ago, Mokara said:

Cell phone sales were sustained by the rapid developing pace of the tech that went into them. Once phones become good enough for most people's needs there is less incentive to replace them and the usage cycle becomes longer. The same sort of thing happened in the PC industry. It used to be that you had to replace hardware every few years to catch up with software demands

 

Man it used to be every 6 month for PC when there are many competitors on the filed (intel/cyrix/amd for cpu and matrox/3dfx/s3/ati/nvidia for gpu), and gradually evolve to yearly then to every few years once competitor dies off or become less competitive.

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18 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Maaa name is Chris,

#redneck

Seriously?

I get that you're not American, but you don't appear to know what a redneck is. I can tell you its not a city kid that grew up in Alaska, has traveled the world and is halfway to a masters in strategic communications. Because that's me. Educate yourself before lobbing petty insults.

This is the way you treat people that bought pro color?

Cheers

Chris

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